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What is Kava? Kava is a plant that comes from the Pacific Islands, where it has been used as a ceremonial drink for over 3,000 years. It’s known for its relaxing properties and ability to reduce anxiety.
The scientific name for kava is Piper methysticum. It’s a member of the pepper family, which includes black pepper and other spices like nutmeg and clove.
When you drink kava, it can cause feelings of euphoria and relaxation that last for several hours. Kava was and still is traditionally used for celebrations and mediation. Further to this kava is also used for a number of reasons. These include:
✔️ A natural alternative to pharmaceutical products that treat anxiety and stress
✔️ Following the Pacific Island Tradition of using it to assist with sleep
✔️ As a social tonic substitute for alcohol – nothing beats enjoying some shells of kava with friends!
Kava was originally used during specific custom occasions, such as weddings, village meetings, dispute resolution and appointments of chiefs. In more recent decades its use as a social tonic has increased. So much so that the majority of people in the Pacific drink kava at least once a week in a social setting. These social settings including kava bars or at a family get together.
Yes, kava is legal in Australia! Kava was allowed to be imported under a permit system and then sold as a food and beverage as of January 2022. This is known as the “Phase 2 Kava Trial” and kava’s use in Australia is being assessed by the government for a 2 year period. At the end of this period a decision will be made that whether to extend the trial period, roll it out as a permanent legislation or to cancel the trial.
It is worth noting that whilst kava is legal in Australia, there are conditions under which it can be sold. The first condition is that it must be correctly labeled under strict guidelines laid out under the Phase 2 Kava Trial. The second is that it can only be sold and served in an acqeous format, i.e. mixed with water only. The third and final one is that it cannot be used as an ingredient in food and beverages. This is the reason that you don’t see exciting value added kava products like Kava Cola and Kava chocolate available in Australia.
When you drink kava, you might be surprised by how bitter it tastes. To get around the taste in the most efficient way, simply drink the serve of kava in one quick draft. Some people like to mix it with juice or coconut milk for a more pleasant taste. It’s easy to forget what your first wine or beer tasted like. It was pretty awful for most people. Much like these drinks, the taste of kava soon becomes a non-issue over time.
Some people have a reverse tolerance with kava. This means that when they first start drinking kava, they don’t feel the effects of kava straight away. It can often take a few kava sittings for some people to feel the effects. If this happens to you, don’t be dismayed. We recommend revisiting kava over the next couple of days and then again then next few days after that. By this time your body has become used to processing the kavalactones (the feel good component of kava) and we are sure you will feel the effects.
Kava is known for its relaxing effects, so it can be tempting to have a drink with your kava. However, combining alcohol and kava can cause some serious side effects. These include hypertension, increase blood pressure and slurred speech. We recommend that if you are going to drink alcohol, that you wait an hour or so after kava to avoid any issues.
Make sure that you are buying certified Noble variety kava. Noble varieties are kavas whose roots have been traditionally used for medicinal purposes or as a ceremonial drink. They’re generally considered to be safer than other varieties because they contain high amounts of the good kava lactones and less of the potentially damaging ones. Vendors who sell certified noble variety kava will always have the test results published on their website. Australia Kava Shop certify all their kava products using the kavalytics testing protocol. To see up to date test results check HERE.
If you’re looking to try kava, it can be tempting to pick up some tablets or a tea. However, these forms of kava are simply not effective. Kava tablets and teas do not contain enough active ingredients to create the calming effects that kava is known for. If you are new to kava and want to try a hassle free option, we recommend trying out our Instant Kava powder instead.
Dehydrated kava juice, or soluble instant kava, is the best form of Instant kava because it retains all the active ingredients. There are many kava products that claim to be “instant” that are simply not. As an example any product claiming to be Instant Kava that is made in Fiji is not TRUE instant Kava. It si simply mincronized kava root. This is not nearly as effective as Instant Kava made from dehdrated fresh green kava juice. We understand that our Instant Kava is more expensive than micronized root, however if you’re looking for the best possible experience from your kava drink its the best Instant option available.